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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winona chapter.

October 1-7 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. While it’s important to be aware year-round, this designated week gives an opportunity to bring attention to this issue.


When I came to college, I was surprised by how many people I met who said they’d struggled with mental illness before. Something I had previously felt alone in didn’t seem so alienating anymore. Even though about one in five adults face this type of obstacle each year, there still seems to be a stigma around those who do. The issue is lack of education. Every year, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, promotes Mental Illness Awareness Week to help unite people in the movement. It calls for public education, support, and medical care. Quite often, mental illness is not viewed at the same priority as physical illness, though it can be just as debilitating. The same empathy, care, and treatment availability for physical illness should be applied to mental illness as well.


Treatment is, by no means, the same for everyone. It’s okay to try out different options and use them together. Seeking a counselor, social support groups, and medications are great strides toward relief. It’s so important to talk to people about the issues at hand.


If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, visit nami.org to learn more about warning signs, types of illness, and treatment options. Don’t be afraid to reach out.


Winona State University offers wellness and counseling services in the Integrated Wellness Center. There, students can access Outreach programming, one-on-one counseling, referrals, and consultations. An appointment can be made on the phone or in person. Don’t be afraid to explore options to help you or others keep mental health on track.


Alexa Jo is a senior at Winona State studying Psychology and Communication Studies. She enjoys learning new skills, getting outside, upcycling clothes, and hanging out with the people she loves. She likes to write stories that are real, raw, and have just a touch of humor. She writes because she believes she has a lot to say, and wants to talk about the things others are scared to talk about. She uses her writing to share her experiences and uplift others. She hopes to one day work for a non profit in campaigns for social change.
I love exploring the outdoors, writing, whales, and have a major sweet tooth for cheesecake! Volleyball and hockey are my favorite sports to play and watch. When it comes to writing, I love it. I truly enjoy being able to write articles and stories about topics people would enjoy reading.